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Taking Leave of God (SCM Classics) Paperback – 15 Jul 2010
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"'Composed with a moving integrity and honesty, with a stress on disinterested spirituality and discipline.' John Robinson in the Times Literary Supplement 'There shines through this lucid book a passion, an integrity, an often agonising seriousness of concern, which is in refreshing contrast to the dilettantism, the sceptical frivolity, which disfigures some other popular writing on religious matters.' The Tablet"
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It shows a lack of understanding on Amazons part. Or is Bezos just a philistine?
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Don Cupitt argues that one can be a spiritual Christian without buying into the supernatural claims of the Christian faith. In his brand of Christianity, "God" is a metaphor, a literary personification that embodies the very best of humanitarian ideals. To say "I believe in God" is to say, "I believe in love, compassion, justice and wisdom" - which have always been the attributes of the Christian God anyway.
Cupitt views these attributes of God as central to the Christian faith, rather than the actual existence of God himself. To be a devout Christian means to hold these values dear and to even attend church as a means of helping others.
"Taking Leave of God" is not a light read, but worth pondering!
Now for some objective criticism of "Taking Leave of God." Cupitt's book needs an index. It would be enjoyable, after reading the book as a whole, to be able to go back and find Cupitt's own fascinating spin on various subjects.
It also needs a glossary. For example, he repeatedly uses the phrase "religious requirement." The reader will be lost if he misses the vital passage where that term is defined.
Last, many will say that Cupitt fails to deal with a hallow victory. According to Cupitt, there is no God outside the human mind. Fine. God is the embodiment of human or humanitarian ideals. Fine. But what about the perennial human problem of existential angst? In other words, what about our fear of death? With no God "out there" to save us, how can we ever transcend the dread that accompanies our demise or of those we love?
For most Christians throughout history, the central message of their faith has been that of a God who can reward with salvation because he does in fact exist. "He that comes to God must first believe that God exists, and that he rewards those who seek him." (Hebrews 11:6).
I will still give this book a 5 star rating because it is a valiant effort to balance treasured religious ideals with the starkness of contemporary unbelief.